What Do I Do If I Get Injured at Work in California?

what to do if you were injured at workIf you suffer a workplace injury, you should first seek medical care as soon as possible.

After that rather obvious step, you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process if you have questions or if you are unfamiliar with the requirements.

Workers’ compensation is the first step in the process to help you get benefits and medical treatment if you are injured on the job.

If you are still wondering—What do I do if I get injured at work in California?—we can help. The Henderson Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for employee rights.

This blog post will help you understand what to do after a workplace injury and how an attorney can help you. We want to help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.

What You Need to Know About Having a Work Injury

Under California law, an employer must pay for its employees’ workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job.

If you are injured at work, you are most likely eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, even if your injury was not your employer’s fault.

Workers’ compensation is likely to apply if your injury happened while you were working.

However, as the injured employee, you are responsible for notifying your employer, filing a claim with the relevant parties, and following medical directions.

What Is California Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program to which employers contribute. It provides coverage for medical benefits and wage replacement for workers injured on the job.

In exchange for these benefits, workers give up their right to sue their employer for the injuries they have suffered.

California’s State Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation oversees the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program.

This program provides workers with medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits, as well as wage protection.

Medical Benefits

Under California’s workers’ compensation laws, your employer must pay for your medical care for an on-the-job injury. However, this means that you may not be allowed to see your own doctors.

Sometimes your family doctor is unfamiliar with or unable to handle workers’ compensation claims. You may need to see a provider in the workers’ compensation provider network. 

For purposes of covered claims, medical care typically includes:

  • Doctor and specialist visits,
  • Hospitalizations,
  • Tests and treatments,
  • Medications,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Durable medical equipment, and
  • Travel costs for getting to and from appointments.

Be sure to save all your receipts for any out-of-pocket medical expenses you must cover.

If, at any time, you need to dispute a workers’ compensation claim denial, or you feel that your claims are not being adequately covered, speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

At the Henderson Law Firm, we have many years of experience helping injured employees like you file successful workers’ compensation claims.

Disability Benefits

Workers’ compensation typically covers either temporary or permanent disability benefits.

Temporary disability benefits cover a significant portion of your wages for the period of time you are out of work due to your injury. This is similar to taking paid sick leave. 

Permanent disability benefits protect you if you are so mentally or physically injured that you’re unable to return to work. Only a doctor can make this determination.

If you believe you have been so injured that you may never be able to return to work, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

They can work with your doctor to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Death Benefits

If your loved one was killed on the job or ultimately died from the severity of their workplace injury, speak with an lawyer right away.

California workers’ compensation laws provide certain benefits for immediate family members of workers who died from their work-related injuries.

Supplemental Benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance may offer you some additional benefits above and beyond medical and disability benefits.

You may be eligible for these benefits if you receive permanent disability benefits or if your employer is unable to offer you a job when you are ready to return to work after your injury.

Supplemental workers’ compensation benefits can help retrain you in specific skills or enhance your existing skills so you can find work within your industry or an industry you are physically able to work in.

How Do I Communicate with My Employer After a Workplace Injury?

After a workplace injury, report the injury to your employer in writing. Send either an email or text to as many of your supervisors as possible. 

It is essential that you clearly explain what happened. It is even better if you can identify the body parts that are affected. Make sure that you tell them you are seeking medical attention and alert them that you may be filing a workers’ compensation claim.

The sooner your employer has this information, the harder it will be for them to deny coverage for your injuries.

The Henderson Law Firm Difference

Attorney Michael Henderson advocates for injured and wrongfully-treated employees across Northern California.

With more than 20 years of experience representing individuals and families when crisis strikes, Michael’s personal approach sets him apart from his peers.

His ability to efficiently secure favorable results for his clients gives clients confidence that they’re in good hands.

Whether you have been mistreated by your employer, subjected to unsuitable or dangerous work conditions, or been severely injured on the job, Michael can use the law and his substantial experience to stand up for your rights and fight for the outcome you deserve.

For more information about your rights as an employee in California, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us. We are here to help you.

To speak with our employment law attorney Michael Henderson in confidence, call us or request an appointment online today.